Australia is an amazing country, so it’s not surprising that many international students who complete their studies in Australia extend their stay with a Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485). The 485 visa allows recently graduated international students with specific skills and qualifications to extend their stay in Australia.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government has removed certain requirements including applicants no longer need to hold a qualification relevant to the occupation on the skilled occupation list. This change is valid for visa holders from July 2022 to June 2023 period.
The 485 visa is a temporary visa, which means it is not possible to extend it. However, due to COVID-19, the Australian government is currently offering a 6-month extension on the 485 visa from 18 months to 24 months.
Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485) holders in the Graduate Work Stream are eligible for a 6-month visa extension if their visa was granted on or after the 1st of December 2021. Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders may stay up to 5 years.
The Australian government has introduced a new visa 485 stream called the Replacement Stream, which is for current and former Temporary Graduate visa holders. In order to be eligible, the holder must have held a relevant Temporary Graduate visa that was granted before 15 December 2021 and lost time due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The length of the Replacement Stream visa will be the same as the visa you were previously granted. Unless a 2-year Post Study Work visa was granted as a result of your Master of Coursework qualification if so it will be extended to 3 years. Similarly, if you were granted a Graduate Work Stream visa, the length will be extended from 18 months to two years.
If you’re looking to take advantage of the 6-month extension of the Graduate Work Stream 485 visa, the good news is that you don’t have to lodge an application as the extension will take place automatically. If you’d like to apply for the Replacement Stream visa, you will need to lodge an application before 1 January 2027 and pay the application fee.
The Graduate Work Stream 485 visa is still a temporary visa and if you’re looking to stay in Australia on a permanent basis, you’ll need to consider other visa options. Here are some of the go-to options for remaining in Australia after your 485 visa expires.
This visa was created to allow workers with skills or qualifications that are in high demand in Australia to migrate without requiring sponsorship from an employer. If you’ve completed a course in Australia and are qualified to work in an eligible skilled occupation in Australia, this visa is a great option for you. The Skilled Permanent Visa (Subclass 189) Points-tested Stream is a points-based system visa, where you’ll need to score 65 points or more to be eligible. Points are awarded for your age, qualifications, English proficiency, time spent studying in regional Australia and work experience in Australia. If you’ve included your spouse on your application, you can also get points for relevant skills they hold.
An employer-sponsored visa (Subclass 186) is similar to the skilled permanent visa except that you’ll need an Australian employer who is willing to sponsor your visa application. The most common stream is the Direct Entry Stream. In order to apply, you will need to have an occupation that is on the list of eligible skilled occupations, 3 years of relevant work experience and may be required to undertake a skills assessment. You may also be eligible for the Labour Agreement stream if your nominating employer is part of a labour agreement or the Temporary Residence Transition stream. You may also be eligible for a temporary employee-sponsored visa such as a Subclass 407 Training Visa or a Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa.
If you are either married or in a de facto relationship, your partner can sponsor you to stay in Australia. On the other hand, if you are in a relationship with someone on a visa, you may be able to become dependent on their visa.
If you hold a 485 Temporary Graduate Visa, you may be eligible for a 6-month automatic extension. If you want to stay in Australia permanently, talk to the immigration specialists at AustraliaMigrate today for more information.
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